Reduced 2D form coherence and 3D structure from motion sensitivity in developmental dyscalculia
Castaldi E., Turi M., Cicchini G.M., Sahawanatou G., Eger E.
Developmental dyscalculia (DD) is a specific learning disability affecting the development of numerical and arithmetical skills. The origin of DD is typically attributed to the suboptimal functioning of key regions within the dorsal visual stream (parietal cortex) which support numerical cognition. While DD individuals are often impaired in visual numerosity perception, the extent to which they also show a wider range of visual dysfunctions is poorly documented. In the current study we measured sensitivity to global motion (translational and flow), 2D static form (Glass patterns) and 3D structure from motion in adults with DD and control subjects. While sensitivity to global motion was comparable across groups, thresholds for static form and structure from motion were higher in the DD compared to the control group, irrespective of associated reading impairments. Glass pattern sensitivity predicted numerical abilities, and this relation could not be explained by recently reported differences in visual crowding. Since global form sensitivity has often been considered an index of ventral stream function, our findings could indicate a cortical dysfunction extending beyond the dorsal visual stream. Alternatively, they would fit with a role of parietal cortex in form perception under challenging conditions requiring multiple element integration.